Longest-standing neighbour?

eduarodi

Senior Member
castellano de Argentina
Hello, everybody.

I am trying to find an adjective for a sentence like "He is my _____ neighbour" to indicate that this person has been my neighbour for longer than anybody else. I feel that "oldest" is ambiguous, because it would refer to my neighbour's age, rather than to how long he's been my neighbour. I mean, he may be in his eighties, but maybe he moved in only last week. So I've found the word "longest-standing" which seems to fit the definition. But I was wondering if there is another term that is more appropriate or more common in everyday English in this sense, as I am not a native English speaker.

Thank you very much for any help you can provide.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You could say "he is my neighbor of longest standing," which would be correct enough but rather formal. "Oldest" could be ambiguous, but it might not be in a given context; we often say "my oldest friend" without necessarily referring to the friend who is oldest. I don't like "longest-standing neighbor."
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I would normally take "my oldest neighbour" to mean the person who'd been my neighbour the longest.

    While it's theoretically ambiguous, I suspect you would be able to tell from the context whether or not it referred to the person's age compared to all the other neighbours.
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    I am trying to find an adjective [...]
    I understand that you are trying to find an adjective, but sometimes it does not work. "He has been my neighbor longer than anybody else" conveys the meaning without ambiguity. Yes, it may seem verbose, but the meaning is clear.
     

    eduarodi

    Senior Member
    castellano de Argentina
    Thank you all for your replies!

    SwissPete, you are right. I was stuck trying to find an adjective, but that wasn't actually necessary. My idea was to get rid of the ambiguity of "old", and to be able to express both concepts in the same context as in: "He's been my neighbour the longest but he isn't the oldest in terms of age". Only I hoped there'd be a shorter way to say it. Possibly because I was under the influence of my own language that does make the distinction, I assumed that there would have to be a distinction in English, too. Now I see that's not the case.

    Thanks again, everybody!
     
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